The author is coming home to Pakati…

Pakati Secondary school staff in 1989

I have been planning this forthcoming trip to Zimbabwe almost from the day I got home in Septemer last year…

As widely mentioned on this blog, last years’ visit to Pakati however brief it was, rekindled so many memories for me, and made me realise how much at home I really felt there all those years ago.

There are a number of factors in play here: the warm welcome I got on arrival both in 1989 and again in 2018; the reception I had from students back then and the real heartbreak I felt when I left in 1991; the truly extraordinary privilege and experience of being Acting Head for 8 months – a real honour; the support I received from staff, Ministry officials and above all the local community; the remarkable response I have had from many former students of Pakati, several of whom I had the pleasure of teaching all those years ago; plus of course, the family who gave me my totem…see a much earlier blog post on here.

I am going to have a number of days re-acquainting myself with the area and its people, and look forward immensely to getting on with helping both schools with their new equipment. I am sure several friends old and new will be around so I may greet them warmly. Full details of the visit will emerge in the coming weeks as I take the chance to post new stories during and after my visit. I may get a radio interview back in the UK during the visit if all goes to plan.

I am sure things will happen unexpectedly during the trip, but if I have learned anything from having been in Zimbabwe many times before, it is that adaptability is essential…. Pakati awaits in 10 days time…

Some of Pakati Secondary school staff with the Author, 2018

Author:

My name is Chris Walker, and between January 1989 and September 1991 I worked, through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), at Pakati Secondary School in Murehwa South district in Zimbabwe. I was a Maths teacher for 2 years, the Acting Head for the last 8 months there. I have also taught in Botswana & the UK, had 4 years working for VSO, and spent the last 13 years as a Civil Servant in Bradford. I married a Zimbabwean woman & we have 2 sons.

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